By Frank Kamuntu
Bryan Swanson explains what could happen to players like Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen who have less than a year left on their current contracts .Transfer windows across Europe finally closed on Monday, but that does not mean questions over the future of a number of Premier League players have been answered.
Key names at some of the country’s biggest clubs have less than a year remaining on their contracts, with extensions to those deals yet to be signed.
In less than four months’ time, those players can be approached by European clubs who want to sign them on free transfers at the end of the season – meaning the Premier League sides will miss out on potentially huge transfer fees.
Spy uganda has picked out four of the Premier League’s most high-profile players who could be targeted by Europe’s elite in January – and what their exits would mean.
Manchester United supporters were treated to the news in July that David de Gea was set to finally end the speculation over his future and sign a new, long-term deal at Old Trafford worth up to £375,000 per week,The contract would have made him the highest-paid goalkeeper in the world but, two months on, it is yet to be signed.
No reason for the delay has been given, meaning that, while De Gea is still United’s undisputed No 1, he is free to talk to new clubs in less than four months’ time.In July, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “As I’ve said a few times, I think that will be up to David and the club to announce if it happens – if and when.”De Gea has played every minute of United’s four matches so far this season, conceding four goals and recording one clean sheet.
He showed a concerning repeat of last season’s dip in form when he allowed Patrick van Aanholt’s stoppage-time winner to go under him at the near post in United’s shock 2-1 home defeat against Crystal Palace.However, Solskjaer still trusts De Gea, and he has captained the side on three occasions already this campaign.
When De Gea does leave Old Trafford – whether that is next summer or further down the line – he has a legitimate claim to go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goalkeepers.The Spaniard is only the fifth keeper to record 100 clean sheets in the competition’s history, and of the Premier League’s current crop, only Joe Hart sits above him in the standings.
It is hard to think of a player in United’s squad that they would miss more, were they to leave, than De Gea. The fact he could do so for free in less than 12 months’ time will be of great concern to Solskjaer and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.The 28-year-old has been named United’s player of the year on four occasions – nobody has been handed the award as many times.While United do have two credible replacements – Sergio Romero and Dean Henderson – already on their books, neither is of the calibre of De Gea.
Romero has played just seven league games in four years at Old Trafford, while Henderson is just four games into his first top-flight campaign during a loan spell at Sheffield United.Christian Eriksen has made no secret of the fact he has been considering a move away from Tottenham. In July, just a month after Spurs tasted defeat in their first ever Champions League final, the Denmark international suggested he had reached the stage in his career where he was ready to “try something new”.
In August, Mauricio Pochettino said: “The player is not affected about the rumours. There is nothing to say because we have one year more on the contract, but it is not the best situation for him and for everyone.” Eriksen has still been able to demonstrate his importance to Spurs, though, scoring in the derby draw with Arsenal last weekend. Tellingly, Pochettino’s side are yet to score this season without the 27-year-old on the pitch.
Eriksen was a key player for Tottenham last season as they memorably reached the Champions League final and once again secured a top-four place in the Premier League.To underline his importance, he recorded more Premier League assists for Spurs than any other player for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
Like De Gea, Callum Hudson-Odoi seemingly ended question marks over his future when it emerged in July he had agreed a £180,000-per-week deal to stay at Chelsea. But like De Gea, that deal is still waiting to be signed.If that was not concerning enough for the Blues, Bundesliga club Bayern Munich are known admirers of the 18-year-old – having already had four bids turned down this year – and would be ready to pounce if he entered January with just six months remaining on his deal.
Hudson-Odoi’s struggles to break into Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea team last season were well publicised, but the Italian was eventually unable to resist the calls to unleash the teenage winger.He made a total of 24 appearances for the Blues as they won the Europa League and finished third in the Premier League, scoring five goals and assisting five more in all competitions.
Hudson-Odoi’s impact was so impressive, in fact, that Gareth Southgate handed him his England debut against the Czech Republic in March.